The Joys of a New Computer

Olympic Coastline, Washington

Olympic Coastline, Washington

July 17, 2013

I’ve finally replaced my aging iMac with a shiny new iMac. The 6-year old computer was grinding to a standstill on photo intensive tasks like HDR. It was taking me 10-20 minutes to create a single HDR image, which is not a very productive use of time.

Bill Gates is famously rumored to have said in 1981 that 640K of RAM ought be enough for anyone. I’m here to say that today, 4GB of RAM is not enough. The new computer has 16GB of RAM and it makes all the difference.

With the new computer I can create HDR images and do other edits quickly and efficiently. I’ve been wanting to go back through my files and re-edit some of my old images with the new techniques that are now available. The turtle speed of my old computer was holding me back. The image at left is one of the images I wanted to process. It was taken in 2008 with my Nikon D200.

One of the pieces of advice that I never followed “in the old days” was to edit ruthlessly and discard images that you know are not useful. The common wisdom said to select the best image from a bracketed series and discard the rest. Boy am I glad I never got around to doing that. Now I can go back through my archives and create HDR images from my travels.

The image above is from the Olympic coastline in Washington. I was never quite happy with the image I got from a single frame. The depth and contrast just didn’t seem to make the image pop. However, now I can add the additional data from the bracketed images and get a better result.

If you’re a photographic packrat like me, you might enjoy using modern software on your older images. Give it a try.

Equipment Used

Nikon D200

Nikon 12-24 f/4

Singh-Ray Galen Rowell – 3-stop Graduated ND filter

Gitzo 2540 Tripod

Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ballhead